The Modi government might speak highly about Gujarat model of development but it has failed to create jobs in the PM’s home state as youth are rendered jobless. Around 7 lakh educated youth are registered in Gujarat’s employment bureau. Many of them are frustrated with the government’s policies and those hailing from business background are searching for employment in government sectors. Even the Patidar community is lobbying for reservation in government jobs. As per CMIE sample survey, the unemployment rate in Gujarat was 1.4 per cent in August 2016, 1.3 per cent in October 2016, same 1.3 per cent in February 2017, 1.9 per cent in May 2017, 2.8 per cent in August 2017 and as high as 6.8 per cent in October 2017. Despite this many followers of BJP are voting for the party over development. Many of them continue to remain associated with the party despite its failure to provide good governance. Ever since BJP won the 1995 Gujarat state assembly election, the party has successfully managed to retain power in the state for 22 years. The Gujarat government has been luring business community to invest in the state but at the same time it has failed to address issues like poverty, rising malnutrition, health, education, sanitation, rural development and electricity. Even farmers are not getting fair price for agricultural produce which is having an adverse effect on the rural economy.
Kaushik Parmar, co-convenor Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch said, “The voting is done on several factors like caste, creed and religion. Mostly tickets are issued to those candidates belonging to those castes which have a sizeable number of presences in a constituency. Many smaller parties and independent candidates contest election which gives an advantage to BJP due to division of votes. BJP often talks about replicating Gujarat model of governance across the country but does it pave way for inclusive development?”
Harshvardhan Jadhav, Shiv Sena MLA said, “We will get a clear picture about the winner of Gujarat election after the declaration of results. BJP will lose Gujarat assembly polls. There is a possibility of manipulation of electronic voting machines; hence, we must revert back to using paper ballots. Common man is unable to derive benefit of the various schemes announced by Modi government. Even though the government has adopted digital mechanism to deliver various services to people but it is plagued due to various loopholes. According to me, the Madhya Pradesh model of governance is better as compared to Gujarat as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is doing a good job.”
Kiran Pawaskar, NCP MLA said, “The Gujarat government has failed to provide better amenities to residents and they are unhappy. Roads are poorly maintained in the state and condition of hospitals and schools are in dire straits. What is so special about Gujarat model when the government has failed to provide basic necessities to people? Modi government is only indulging in publicity stunt as no development is visible.”
Parag Alvani, BJP MLA said, “Congress is insulting voters by saying that PM Modi is misguiding them. We are fighting election on the basis of development agenda. We are not following dynasty politics and BJP will definitely win Gujarat election. Nation has rejected dynasty politics by voting for a person who had sold tea.”
Former BJP MP Nana Patole said, “If there is no manipulation of electronic voting machines then Congress will win Gujarat election. BJP lacks vision and don’t speak about the state’s development. They are only indulging in negative campaigning and targeting Rahul Gandhi. Modi is playing with the sentiments of Gujarat residents.”